Friday, December 30, 2005

Hip-hop school VI

The last post in the hip-hop school installment. We're calling this "The Aughts" because that's a much better name for the current decade than "The Ohs" or "The Zeros". Have we officially decided this one yet?

I suppose that maybe in five years I could finish this off, but who knows? I might be totally into country music by then. And, of course, pigs could fly out of my butt.

The list:

Dr. Dre feat. Eminem - Forgot About Dre
Nelly - Country Grammar - suddenly, every black person sounds like they're from St. Louis, saying "herrrr" and "therrrr"
Ludacris - Southern Hospitality
The Roots - Break You Off - one of the best BANDS out there - just happen to rap instead of sing
Eminem - Cleaning Out My Closet - his second best song off his best album
R. Kelly & Jay-Z - Get This Money - or Fiesta, if you like - pretty much interchangeable
Eminem - Lose Yourself - one of the greatest songs in the history of music; I will not debate this
50 Cent - In Da Club
Missy Elliott - Work It - best female rapper ever
Juvenile feat Lil' Wayne & Manny Fresh - Back That Azz Up
Jay-Z - 99 Problems
OutKast - Church - lesser known track from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - you should own this album
OutKast - A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete) - see above; this is why Andre 3000 is on almost every rapper's "top 5 MCs" list
Kanye West - All Falls Down - the future of hip-hop; I think it's a good thing, but not everyone agrees with me
J-Kwon - Tipsy - hot song from '04
Mike Jones - Still Tippin' - "chopped and screwed" hip-hop from Houston
Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger - how could this not be on here?

And now you know everything there is to know about hip-hop. Questions? Concerns? Comments? Hit me up.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

blogs & bad movies

Back to my normal up-at-10am-sleep-at-2am routine. So sweet. I usually spend the last hour and a half before bed reading my favorite blogs and watching bad movies on one of the Showtime channels the hotel has so kindly provided us. (I would gladly trade the two Showtime channels for MTV and Comedy Central, but I digress.) Right now I'm watching some National Lampoon Canadian movie called Going The's actually not that bad...let's call it a poor poor man's Animal House.

Melissa wrote a great post today. Check it out. My retrospective will come this weekend.

So apparently my readers think that the inner freak of my castmates will fly as the show progresses. Valid points, all, but I still think this group is surprisingly normal. Of course, I wasn't at rehearsal today, and I won't be there t'm'row. I'll make sure and update you as the process goes on.

I'm taking the Animal House thing back...the group has actually run into an old farmer who says, "You can stay at my house, but no one can mess with my daughter." Still, you know I have to see how it ends...

Some year-end hip-hop coming in your direction t'm'row...actually, later today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

aw, shucks

So I was all excited for the blogging possibilities with my new job. I figured that I'd definitely need to be anonymous so that I could dish all kinds of dirt about the people that I was working with.

The problem, however, is that all of my "co-workers" are nice, normal people. So far, it doesn't look like I'm going to have any salacious material to blog about. So you'll just have to settle for my normal lines of conversation: my so-called life, hip-hop, blackness, etc. Sorry.

Day 3 of living in a hotel...I have to admit that I still like it. The heater is flashing a picture of a wrench, meaning that it's broken, I guess (though the heat's still working), but otherwise everything is peachy keen.

I've got the day off t'm'row, and I'm determined to (1) go to the gym, and (2) explore Steak City. I'll try my best not to get into too much trouble.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

iTunes... a major weakness of mine. Fortunately my family and friends are feeding my habit by giving me iTunes gift cards for every special occasion. Birthdays, show openings/closings, etc.

I just downloaded, like, eight songs. SOMEBODY STOP ME!

And, just so you're clear on where I stand, the iPod is the greatest invention since fire.

Steak City!

Here we are, in the lovely midwest. Arrived in Steak City last night - much bigger than I expected. Is that just New York snobbery, or genuine surprise?

Anyway, it's nice to be doing what I love in a real city for a change (hence why I'm calling it Steak CITY, to illustrate the difference). I have to go down to the hotel lobby in 45 minutes, where I will meet the rest of the cast and start working! Good times.

Have to mention the digs - I really think, at this point, that I would be happy living anywhere, after being on the road for 2 months. But I'm pretty happy with the set-up here. The hotel is nothing special - just one of the typical extended-stay hotel rooms with kitchenette and desk - but it's MINE. And no one can come in and mess with my stuff! Except the housekeepers. Negatives? The biggest one is that I don't get MTV. How will I be able to keep up with "The Gauntlet"? A sickness, I know...

While I am excited about being in one place for a while, I always think staying in a hotel room by yourself is a little bit depressing, especially if you don't know your surroundings (like me). Sometimes it feels like your world is you and the television. I'm going to have to fight that by going out into the community and making friends. Hopefully there will be some fun people in my cast to play with. And I think I may have a visitor or two while I'm here.

Off to prep for work. It's like the first day of school! I'm actually excited...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

...or Happy Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus!

In the "back room" at my childhood home (awwww...). The fam is downstairs listening to music on the kickin' stereo system my brother bought for my parents (with the monetary support of his fiancee and yours truly) and eating. We have so much food here that some of it is actually sitting in the garage. Ridiculous. Meanwhile I'm up here furiously unpacking and repacking, trying to get my life together; I'm going to be in Steak City in 48 hours, and working in about 60.

Despite my massive to-do list, it's so good to be home. I love my parents, and, perhaps more importantly, I really like them. And vice versa. I don't get home all that often anymore, and I haven't seen them too much over the past couple of years (because of the distance from here to Sleepy Hamlet), so that makes the holidays that much more special.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Next entry will be from the hotel room I'll be calling home for the next eight more mobile blogging, at least for now. Love to all...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

good-bye, big city

Saw Memoirs of a Geisha today...good times. Good thing I enjoyed it, too, since I walked thirty blocks to get there. Thank God the transit strike is over...oh wait...I'm leaving the city t'm'row to go home for Xmas.

So my NYC vacation has come to an end. Home to Mom & Pop for a few days, and then off to Steak City to do my 1st union gig. Not the most restful vacation ever, but it was cool. I got to see a lot of old friends, and I decided that I'm not over the city yet. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to come back here for the summer. More on that in another post.

Six hours in a car t'm'row...wish me luck...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hip-hop school V

This class deals with hip-hop in the late '90s. If I were a hip-hop professor, this would probably be the time I specialized in. I've probably got more CDs from this period than from any other. (Two words: Columbia House.) But there was also a lot going on musically. As a result, this class has more songs than any other - 24, to be exact. When doing class for the guys I split this lesson in two. You, my dear readers, get everything together. Here we go:

Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah!
Jay-Z feat. Foxy Brown - Ain't No Nigga
The Fugees - Fu-Gee-La
LL Cool J - Loungin (Who Do Ya Luv)
Crucial Conflict - Hay - not one of my favorite songs, but it was on top of the charts for weeks
Lost Boyz - Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz
OutKast - Elevators (Me And You) - their best song, in my opinion
The Roots - What They Do - brilliant video
Nas - Street Dreams
Lil' Kim feat. Lil' Cease & Notorious B.I.G. - Crush On You (Remix)
Lil' Kim feat. Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat & Missy Elliott - Not Tonight (Remix) - a who's who of female rappers
Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Mase - Can't Nobody Hold Me Down - kind of sacrilege to remake "The Message", but this was Diddy's coming-out as a rapper
Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim & The L.O.X. - It's All About The Benjamins (Remix)
Mase - Feel So Good
Jay-Z - Hard Knock Life (The Ghetto Anthem) - someone's gotta fill the void left by 2Pac & Biggie, and this is the man who stepped up
Lauryn Hill - Lost Ones
DMX - Get At Me Dog
OutKast - Rosa Parks - the group starts to be embraced by the mainstream
Missy Elliott - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) - may be the greatest female rapper of all time - her first hit
Black Star - Definition
Big Punisher - Still Not A Player
Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - yes, the Fresh Prince made the cut, 'cause it's a great song
Ja Rule - Holla Holla - DMX lite, but a good song; before he got on the duet tip
Mos Def - Umi Says - from Black On Both Sides, which could be the most underrated album of the decade

Strike! (and a couple of other things)

DH tagged me the other day - first time it's ever happened to me - and I decided to post my response over at my other blog. After all, Infinite Monkeys is billed as "a place for everybody". So head over there if you want to find out what makes me weird.

Day 1 of MTA Transit Strike '05. Fortunately I'm staying at my brother's place in 2NY, so I'm safely out of the fray. The pictures that we're seeing on the news are crazy - traffic is as bad as I've ever seen it. I was supposed to meet up with some friends tonight, but I don't think that's going to happen.

This is the third major event that New York's been hit with in the last five years (9/11 - obviously on a bigger scale - and the blackout of '03 being the others), and each time I've been amazed at how New Yorkers have behaved. Specifically, everyone stays fairly calm and pulls together to make the best of a bad situation. Not only are people calm, but they actually seem to be in a good mood!

This is really different from the New York I grew up knowing. Much of my family is from this area, and I remember hearing all sorts of horror stories about the city growing up from them. And, if you've ever read any of the many books written about the city in the '70s, you know that the city was on shaky ground in many ways. Anyway, that's probably why I half-expect the city to explode and descend into anarchy every time something major happens.

Hip Hop School update coming soon - I'm trying to keep them as separate posts, for the most part...

Monday, December 19, 2005

try velcro!

Now, I'm not an angry guy, but I'm sitting here in my brother's living room, and for the past half hour all I have heard is this constant POUNDING from downstairs - first on the front door, now all over the place, and IT'S DRIVING ME FUCKING CRAZY! WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? Jeez Louise...

I feel slightly better now. Thank you.

Another fun story, inspired from Melissa's post (and her reader's comments) about weird people doing weird things today: I went to the local pharmacy this afternoon to get a prescription refilled. When I returned to pick up said medicine there was a very old man at the front counter (who I later noticed took about 4-inch steps when he finally started walking) arguing with one of the cashiers. The conversation went something like this (picking up in the middle):

OLD MAN: But these laces are fifty inches!

CASHIER: (frustrated) I'm sorry, but we don't carry 50 inch shoelaces. These laces are 72 inches.

OLD MAN: No, I bought 50 inches! The girl said 50!

CASHIER: Sir, I sold you these laces, and I never said they were 50 inches.

OLD MAN: Well, where did the 50 come from?

CASHIER: I don't know. We only sell two kinds of shoelaces, and they're both 72 inches. These are the ones I sold you, the brown ones, and they're 72 inches.

OLD MAN: Well, how am I supposed to get 50 inch laces?

HELPFUL WOMAN IN LINE NEXT TO OLD MAN: You may just have to cut them down to 50 inches. You could try that.

OLD MAN (to HELPFUL WOMAN): How'm'I going to cut them down to 50 inches? How'm'I supposed to do that? Look at me? I want 50 inches.

(HELPFUL WOMAN looks slightly hurt, shrugs, pays for her merchandise and leaves)

CASHIER: (annoyed) We don't have 50 inches. These are the only brown laces we have, and they're 72.

OLD MAN: But these ones I brought in here are 50 inches!

CASHIER: No, they're not. They're the same as these laces, and they're 72 inches.

OLD MAN: (rebellious) Well, what am I supposed to do?

CASHIER: (visibly annoyed; she'd probably say something really rude if he wasn't ancient) Well, you could do what the lady suggested. You could cut them down to 50 inches yourself.

OLD MAN: How'm'I supposed to do that? I want 50 inch laces!

CASHIER: We don't have 50 inch laces. We only have 72.

OLD MAN: Well, what are you gonna do about it?

GUY BEHIND ME: (in a slightly homicidal tone) Give him his money back. Please. Give him his money back so that we can all go on with our lives.

They gave him a store credit. Thank God. You gotta love New Yorkers.

More exciting posts coming soon. DH tagged me, so I've got to respond. And there's more Hip Hop School on the way, too...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

at long's time for class!

I've promised and promised, and you've patiently waited. And now, at long last, here is the resumption of the ever-popular Hip Hop School. And, to celebrate, I'm making this the first ever Fish & Greens entry with a picture - how's that for festive?

For some background on how this originated, read this entry from March (I admit, I updated it a little bit). If you want to get up to speed, look at Lesson 1 - The '80s; Lesson 2 - The Early '90s (East Coast); and Lesson 4 - Biggie & 2Pac.

Today we're going to look at Lesson 3 - The Early '90s (West Coast). I admit that I am not the foremost expert on West Coast rap, being from the East Coast myself, but, as Jay-Z says, "I know a lil' bit." As with the earlier lists, this is skewed to my taste; for example, while E-40 is a very popular rapper who has been around a long time, I really don't care for him, so he's not on my list. But you should probably check him out anyway. Onto the list...drumroll, please...

Warren G - Regulate - I love Nate Dogg
N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton
Dr. Dre f/Snoop Dogg - Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')
Rappin' 4-Tay - Playaz Club
Digital Underground - Doowutchyalike
Dr. Dre f/Snoop Dogg - Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang - if you're serious about this class, you should really buy "The Chronic"
N.W.A. - Fuck Tha Police
Too $hort - I'm A Player
Dr. Dre f/RBX and Snoop Dogg - Let Me Ride
Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
Snoop Dogg - Murder Was The Case

I'm a big believer that N.W.A. were the ones who really got West Coast hip hop off the ground, and that's why so many of these songs are from members of that group. Feel free to add more songs to the list...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

ex tour '05

As a general rule, I've decided not to blog much about my dating life. There's a whole list of reasons why I've decided to do this, but that's another post for another day. However, I can't resist writing about this little aspect of my trip to the city:

The main reason why I came here for two weeks (instead of visiting Mom and Dad, getting completely rested up and spending no money) was to see my old friends. And, for some reason, a lot of my friends I've seen this week have been ex-girlfriends. I think the count is up to three already (it would have been four, but one of them cancelled on me).

It's always interesting to see someone that you used to date. I always find myself asking two questions: why did I go out with you in the first place? and would I ever go out with you again? Those aren't necessarily negative questions, either. Sometimes I end up totally clicking with someone and wondering why I ever broke up with them in the first place. Of course, I can also totally have a great time with someone and walk away saying, "That's why things never worked out, and that's why nothing will ever happen again."

When I tell people that I'm seeing so-and-so, who I dated for two months in the summer of '01, or whatever, people always say, "How can you be friends with so many of your exes?" And I don't really have a good answer for that. Sure, I go through periods of time, especially when I break up with someone, when we're not really talking. But we always seem to end up reconnecting. I guess I value being friends with the women I date first - after all, if you don't like someone, why would you want to make out with them?

Off to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - one of my favorite books from my childhood. And I'm only going to pay $6, which is a steal in this town...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Sitting at my brother's house, not really doing anything...this is turning out to be one of those "rest days" that I sorely needed. I think I'm having dinner with a friend in the city tonight, so I will have to get fully dressed. But that doesn't have to happen for a couple of hours.

So I'm technically homeless right now, and I'm starting to feel the strain a little bit. I'm really itching for a place to call my own. It's obviously kind of pointless right now, since I'm going to be moving from city to city for the next few months, but I kind of wish I had a spot where I could just sit and relax and not worry about anybody messing with my stuff. That's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to going to Steak own place!

Off to the kitchen, in search of sugar (it'll be good to start working out regularly again, too...)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

another night...

...another party. Tonight I hung out with my old friends Bright Eyes and L. Britt - good times. Went back to the old stomping grounds - can't believe I've been away from NYC almost as long as I lived there. Weird. I was trying to explain to L. Britt why this place doesn't feel like home anymore, but I couldn't quite do it - I still can't. I love New York so much, but it's really hard being here when you don't have a "home" to go to.

I've been on vacation for a couple of days and I'm already tired. I keep running to and fro, seeing old friends. And it's great to catch up with people, but I also really need this time to refuel. Here's hoping I can sneak in a couple of restful days...

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Writing this at a coffee shop down the street from my brother's place. I'm writing from a coffee shop because said shop is the nearest warm location to the train station. And why am I in need of a warm location? Because I missed the Metro-North train bythismuch (about 20 seconds, to be exact), and now my evening plans are in ruins.

Where did I lose those precious twenty seconds? Was it navigating through the snow? Waiting for a traffic signal? Dodging that dude on a bike? Answering my cell phone while walking down the street? Catching that last play of the Chiefs-Cowboys game? Trying to update my iPod? Going to the bathroom before I left so I wouldn't have to go on the train or in the subway? Talking to my brother and his fiancee? I wish I knew where that time went. Then I would have something (or someone) to be mad at. As it is, I can only be pissed at myself.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. I'm in New York. Yay. Actually, my brother lives in one of the urban suburbs just north of the city (we'll call it North New York, or 2NY for short). Said suburb is apparently getting very trendy...lots of fancy buildings going up all over the place. I stayed here last night, and now I'm headed to visit my dear friend in Brooklyn (though I'm picking her up at her place of employment in Manhattan). So in a little over an hour, I'll be back on my island...

Happy Sunday to all. I know it was for me (until this incident) because the Steelers won...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

In the airport...

...paying once again for wi-fi. I think I may be addicted to the internet...why else would I pay so much money for such a short period of time?

Wi-fi is also one of the two things I'm pissed off about. This wi-fi connection won't let me access iTunes, and I have about 10 songs that I really wanted to download and listen to on this flight. Maybe I'll be able to get on it in Cincinnati (my 3-hour layover - good times).

The other thing I'm annoyed about...I spilled coffee all over my clean white t-shirt while getting out of the Smooth Ride this morning. And since my extremely trendy hoodie has a cheap busted zipper, I can't hide the stain. Now hundreds of people are going to think I'm a slob.

Now boarding one of those stupid regional jets...

Friday, December 09, 2005

one more thing...

Yeah, yeah, I know...three posts in one day. The world must be coming to an end.

I was doing some much needed clean-up work on the ol' blog, and I realized how many times I've promised to put up the next installments in my hip-hop class. And yet...they never made it. Now, I know that the general public is clammoring for a drink from my refreshing well of musical knowledge, so I pledge to you, my trusty readers, that while on vacation in NYC, I will post all parts of the class that was Hip Hop School.

I'm going to aim for one a day next week (I think the pad I'm crashing at will have internet access), so, starting Monday, look for hip hop goodness from me, K Lance.

And maybe, just maybe, if you're good...I'll have another surprise for you...

we're done!

The tour is finally over. We are done. Good times. Thanks to all the kids that listened, the people that put us up, and the teachers who helped organize things for us.

And, by the way, I felt no sadness at all. Just a tremendous amount of relief.

So now my two week vacation starts. I'm going to spend most of it in NYC, reconnecting with my old peeps and trying not to spend too much money. So, if you're in the area, and you wanna grab a frosty beverage, give me a holla...

I'll probably check back in on Monday...have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

the end (for reals)

Just hit me that I'm going to be unemployed starting at noon on Friday. It's only for three weeks; don't worry, I'll be fine. It's not the unemployment that bothers me; it's that I'm leaving my company. Even though I'm in Kansas, I was still connected to Sleepy Hamlet, and now that last string is being severed. It's kind of like throwing away that last trinket your ex gave you. You know it's time, but it still kind of stings a little bit.

I wonder if I'm going to be sad at all t'm'row, or if I'll just be relieved to begin my three week vacation. (Probably the latter; that's how I felt after my last show.) I'll let you know...

snow days - not just for kids anymore!

Woke up this morning at 7:50 (which is pretty late for a weekday) and saw that I had a message on my celly. It was the teacher from today's school - no class today! Too much snow. So I went back to bed. I ended up getting almost ten hours of much needed sleep, then got up, ate breakfast, read an old Rolling Stone, went to the post office, watched Pardon The Interruption. Good times.

Now I'm sitting around waiting for prime-time television to start. T'm'row is the last day of tour, and I've got to say that I'm pretty excited. It also marks the end of my association with my company in Sleepy Hamlet . Feels kind of like graduating from college - I'm entering the big bad world - so cold! so scary! I'm on my own!

One of the friends of the people that we're staying with made us our favorite desserts - apple pie for me, chocolate cake for Raf. SO GOOD. I've been trying to be good while I've been here - working out on the treadmill, eating the right things - but I have a feeling that it's going to be tough going when I get to the city. Going to have to go back on the "Judge Judy" workout plan (which I really should post one of these days - it's great!) when I get to Steak City.

Typing all that about the desserts made me hungry. Time for a slice of pie...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


This tour has suffered through almost every type of weather known to man. Yesterday morning Rafael and I went out to the car at 7:30am. Temperature, according to the Ford Explorer: 4. That's four degrees. F, not C. I was outside for maybe 30 seconds, and my legs were stinging from the cold.

This morning, when we went to the car - same time - it was a tad warmer: 7 degrees. However, it's not getting any warmer as the day goes on - I believe we're currently at 9. And the forecast says that we're supposed to get 6-8 inches of snow by t'm'row morning. There's about an inch on the ground already. I did plan ahead this time; pulled out the thermals! So at least I'm warmer...although my leg hair is going to hurt later.

So we've had rain, hail, snow (and blizzard!), wind, thunder & lightning, and extreme cold. The only thing we're missing is locusts.

All right, enough fooling around on the computer. I've got to try and head back to the high school. Thank God for 4-wheel drive. By the way, I've been meaning to point your attention to the Blogs I Like section - I've added a couple more that you should peruse.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

tired musings

Have I mentioned that I'm ready for a vacation yet? Well, I am.

Don't know if I said anything about this previously, but my Turkey Day trip to New England meant that I missed my class reunion back in the 'burgh. Last night they posted some pictures from said reunion - it's amazing how some people change completely, and how other look exactly how they looked in HS. (I'm probably in the latter group; I've just filled out a little.) Everyone looked like they were having a great time, and part of me really wishes I could have been there. However, at the moment that this reunion was taking place, I was sitting around a table with my entire family, and that hasn't happened in almost a year. And we had one of the best conversations we've ever had. I wouldn't give up that moment for anything. I suppose you could say that everything works out.

My reunion feelings strike me as particularly interesting, since I'm currently working in high schools. I look around the room and wonder where all of these kids are going to end up. Am I preparing the next Tom Hanks? Will one of these kids grow up to be President? Or maybe there's someone in this group is going to eventually commit murder, or die tragically, or save someone's life. Sometimes I think I need to turn my brain off.

Debating whether or not to work out, or just get dinner. Topeka is home to every chain restaurant in America, I swear. Question: am I weird for not wanting to eat at Hooters? I definitely have a weakness for pretty women, but I just feel kind of dirty going in there to eat/pick up food. Does that make any sense?

(Damn, someone needs a lot of affirmation today...)

Monday, December 05, 2005

"freshen up the wig" part 2

Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm just so fresh so clean (so fresh and so clean clean!)
- OutKast

The wig is fresh. Went to the barber on Saturday afternoon - not only did I get my hair cut at a reasonable price, but I'm now all caught up on MTV's Making The Band. Apparently I was the only one in Topeka who didn't know what was going on. Go figure.

Warning: I'm feeling kind of scatter-shot tonight, so this will probably be a notes-style post. You have been warned...

Yesterday I went to the Chiefs-Broncos tilt at Arrowhead Stadium in KC. Great crowd, great atmosphere, but lousy result, 'cause the Chiefs won and the Steelers needed them to lose.

Got back in the saddle today...went to a school named after Narnia stuff. The entire school is going to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on Friday, which I thought was kinda cute and a touch creepy. Only four days left of tour. Thank God.

Speaking of tour, I'm really getting tired of going to bed early and getting up even earlier. I'm a 10am-2am kind of guy, and having to get up early for school (plus all the time changes I've been going through lately) are kind of messing with me. I really need a three week vacation to catch up on sleep, but that's never going to happen. Gotta keep sayin' my new mantra: 4 days left. 4 days left. 4 days left...

The weather here in Kansas is, to put it bluntly, miserable. The temperature outside right now is 15, but with the wind chill it's a cool -4. T'm'row: high 20, low 9. Wednesday: high 17, low 4. I can't tell you how much I miss the Left Coast right now...

Been struggling with the title/purpose of this blog lately. I really enjoy posting, but I'm not sure that my reasons for writing are clear to the masses. Maybe I need to not worry about what other people think and keep plugging away. After all, a blog is basically an online journal, right? And, last I checked, you're reallly supposed to journal for yourself. Getting feedback from others (which I love, by the way, and I thank you for reading) is a bonus.

5 days until my triumphant return to NYC...

Friday, December 02, 2005

"freshen up the wig" part I

So...I don't know if non-black people are aware of this, but cutting our hair is a bit different than other people's hair. And, as a general rule, most black folk prefer to have another black person cut our hair, you know, since they deal with it themselves every day.

I haven't had my hair cut in over a month, and it's kind of getting unruly, so I decided that I was going to look for a barber in Topeka. (By the way, I don't think I've mentioned this before, but Kansas is WAY more diverse than I thought it would be - props to Kansans.) I met a black teacher at the school I was at today, and she gave me the address of a barber who was open late on Fridays. I was very excited.

I drove all the way over to the barber shop, which is on the opposite side of town from my temporary domicile, parked the Smooth Ride I'm driving, and strolled in the shop...where I was informed by the barber that he was booked solid for the next week. He pointed me across the way to another barber shop, which (1) looked WAY sketchier, and (2) was closed. I called the number on the sign and, as the message stsrted playing, realized that it was someone's pager or cell phone, so I didn't leave a message. Ten minutes later I received the following phone call, with loud rap music playing in the background:


This *&%#$@&*. Who this?

Uh, this is K-Lance.

You call me?

(Realizing who this probably is)

Yeah...I need to get my hair cut.

Well, I'm done for the night, son.

Okay...are you open tomorrow?

Yeah. But don't hit me up until 12 or so, 'cause I got to take care of someone before then.

Okay. Hey, are...


So I guess I'm getting my hair cut t'm'row.

I kind of want to go out tonight, but I know ABSOLUTELY NO ONE in this town, other than my partner. And all of the people I met this week were either 18 (or younger), or too old to go to bars. So I guess I'm going to sit in this nice house and read some old Rolling Stones. If you're in the area and want to entertain me, or know of anything fun to do around here, please let me know...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

sibling rivalry

My friend Stef has been blogging for a few months now - she took a break in October, but she's got some good stuff. But now Stef is annoyed...because her older sister, Annie, has started her own blog. Her first entry is one of the best reasons for starting a blog that I've ever heard...I laughed my ass off.

So this is what you have to do. First, read Annie's blog (it just started last week, so it won't take you very long). Then, go check out Stef's blog and leave her a comment so that she doesn't feel unloved. Once you read this post of hers, you'll understand.

Always trying to hook y'all up with The New Hotness...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the main event

Day late with the post - sorry. Had to get up early this morning.

So on Saturday I went to a "renewal of vows" ceremony - my cousin and his wife have been married ten years, and decided to have a big party (since they eloped, this was kind of like their wedding). It's always high comedy when members of my family get together, because we're a little crazy in group settings. There were lots of pictures and funky dancing and story telling - my dad has 40 or 50 first cousins, and they were always getting into scrapes. They've probably got enough material for a TV series.

One other story I forgot to share...Raf and I flew into Kansas City and drove an hour to get to Topeka on Sunday. On our way into Kansas, we noticed that the sky was turning a funky color. About 20 minutes outside of Topeka, the sky just opened up. Lightning flashes everywhere, sheets and sheets of rain - at one point, it was raining so hard that I couldn't see ANYTHING - not even the lights of the car in front of me. I almost had to stop on the interstate. People were pulling off to the side of the road. Scariest car situation I've had in my life...and I've had a few on those. (Insert cracks about my driving ability here.) Ain't the midwest great?

Phone calls to make. More about Kansas later.

Monday, November 28, 2005


In the midwest at last...boy, is this a different place. It's like suburbia times twelve...I've been here a little more than 24 hours and I've already gotten at least a dozen stares and double-takes. They're not of the rude, boy-i'm-gonna-kill-you-if-you-look-at-my-girl kind, but more of the what-the-hell-is-one-of-your-people-doin'-out-here variety.

Driving here yesterday was an adventure...drove through the hardest rain I've ever seen. At one point I almost stopped the car on the interstate. It rained sheets of rain - I couldn't even see the lights of the car in front of me. And then the hail started. I swear, on this trip Raf and I have seen everything but locusts. (I probably shouldn't have said that, 'cause I think we're in the right location for those.)

I must say, though, that so far, I like Kansas. Not enough to move here, but it's all right. Maybe our plush accomodations have something to do with that.

Got to get ready for the Steelers game tonight, but the post about the rest of my weekend will come t'm'row.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Writing from my aunt's house in New England, where I'm staying for the Thanksgiving holiday. I always feel a little weird blogging at someone else's house, like I'm sneaking away to look at porn or something. Like typing all these personal thoughts on a different computer is cheating on my "trusty" laptop (which is currently being upgraded by my cousin's "friend").

Stayed up until 4am talking to my parents and brother. Because I've been living in the Sleepy Hamlet, we usually only get together twice a year, which is a real shame, because we're all very close. The way-back machine was really working on overload last night - told stories about old girlfriends, high school musicals, the issues my brother and I had growing up black in suburbia. I miss my family a lot, which is why I think New York will probably win out in the end.

(The "friend" just brought me an omelette...very good. My cousin's gotta keep this guy...)

Another reason we were telling so many HS stories...last night was my ten-year high school reunion. I really wanted to go, but I've got a huge family function this afternoon, and it would have been too much travel. It would have been nice to see some of my old friends, see who got fat, who's still hot, who's making tons of cash, etc. Guess I'll have to wait for the next one...

Must finish this delicious omelette and then see if I fit into my old suit - I'm afraid that with all of the weight I've lost this year, the pants are going to fall right off of me. Details about the family function will be family is crazy, and there's always some incident worth retelling.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

holding pattern

Sitting in a Starbucks in Sacramento, once again paying for internet access. I got to town at 5, which is kind of unfortunate, because my flight doesn't leave until 11. And I have no where to go. My one friend in town has other plans for about another 45 minutes, so I'm desperately trying to hang on until then. All I want to do is lay down and go to sleep, but that's not happening tonight, because I'll be on a red-eye, headed towards New England. That is, if the giant snowstorm doesn't shut down my connection at O'Hare.

Don't you just love the holidays?

Much melancholy for me lately. I dreamed that some people I know made me some art as a thank you for this work I'm doing in the schools, and when I saw it, I sobbed for hours. I never cry. Then a friend invited me over for a "lettuce party". (Sometimes I wish I could be inside my own head.)

I guess I'm sad because it's really hitting me that this phase of my life is over, and I can't ever get it back, no matter what. It's so weird that one minute I'm completely looking forward to my future, and the next I ache so much for the past. Sometimes being an adult sucks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Turkey Day is coming...

Getting very fired up about Thanksgiving. It's a mandatory holiday in my family...if you don't show up, you're out. I was talking to my brother today and he was telling me that about 20 people are expected for dinner (not counting a couple of my close friends who had to cancel, much to my chagrin), which is huge, even for us. I just hope that there's enough deep-fried turkey to go around.

And speaking of deep-fried turkey, I find it hilarious that, after taking a red-eye across the country and getting very little sleep, I will be expected to supervise people lowering a 20 pound bird into 10 pounds of peanut oil boiling at over 500 degrees. Like I'm even going to be able to stand...

After t'm'row, only two weeks left on the road. More about my upcoming travel itinerary next week...from KANSAS!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


At long last, I'm in a spot with internet access! Perhaps I'll update my blog six times a day now, just because I can.

Spent yesterday in San Francisco. It was good times...went to a cool seafood/jazz spot, and then partied in our hotel room until security was called. Seriously. It was the last time I got to hang with my Sleepy Hamlet peeps, and it was cool. Sort of anti-climatic, if you want to know the truth. I'll see most of them again, I'm sure, but it won't ever be the same. That sucks.

Something that doesn't suck...early last week I got a call from a theater in the midwest, asking me to come do a very famous play. I said yes...I've wanted to do this play for some time now. So two days after Christmas I'm going to be going to a town I'm going to call Steak City for eight weeks to do a very cool show.

I thought about actually printing the name of the play and the city and theater where I'll be working, but, taking a cue from Bright-Eyes' blog, I can tell you much more dirt about the people I'll be meeting if I include as little identifying information as possible.

Time for bed. I'm such an old man...

Friday, November 18, 2005

so little time...

Paying once again for internet access. I promise that there will be better updates once I get back to free computer time...maybe next week.

Currently in the Bay Area...I had forgotten how much fun morning rush hour can be. Which is to say, none at all. Had some amazing kids the other day in San Ramon - smart and fun and brave. Good times.

Seriously, an in-depth update on Monday. I've been taking notes, so I should have some good things to tell all of you, notably the reason why I will soon be blogging from a town I'm lovingly going to call Steak City...

Monday, November 14, 2005


You should really appreciate this post, because it's costing me money. Seriously. I'm at a Starbucks, and I didn't realize until after I had set up my ancient laptop (twice, because apparently my battery life lasts about 10 seconds - as much as I don't want to admit it, it may be time to get a new computer) that I had to pay to get online. So this is a $6 blog entry. You're welcome.

I'm in Fresno, CA, which has all the charm of a sewer. That's a little harsh...there are palm trees, which I like, and attractive women, which I also like, but there are lots and lots of strip malls. And check cashing places. That is not good times.

Raf and I are staying in the guest home of one of the professors of the college we're at for the first part of this week, however, and that is really cool. It's like a rustic log cabin - very cool. We're here until Wednesday night, at which point we drive to the Bay. Civilization at last. And a bunch of my friends are planning a party this weekend in San Francisco. More details as they develop...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wk 1 recap

End of week one. Record was 1-2-1 - meaning we had 1 really good day (Wed. in Redding), 2 bad ones (Burney and Oroville) and one split down the middle (Tue., where we got snowed out).

Next up is Fresno, for three days. It'll be nice to not deal with middle schoolers for a bit.

In the Sleepy Hamlet for the weekend...feels like I never left. Did a bunch of odds and ends today - I am now officially moved out. And that fact, so far, leaves me unmoved.

Early night of sleep. Maybe some excitement t'm'row...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tales from the road

Day 3. Setting: the Holiday Inn Express in Redding, CA, population 85,000. This place feels like a metropolis to me right now.

Crazy 36 hours. We woke up Monday and got yelled at by the principal - she thought we were supposed to be there at 8:30; our schedule said 10am. Turns out there was a break in the chain of communication - the contact for us at that school wasn't exactly on top of things.

Some other things that happened to us yesterday (and this morning):

- No cell phone service.

- Didn't have directions to our school for the following day.

- Went to the site for our evening show (also no directions); they only found out about our performance 3 1/2 hours before show time. The space was a wreck - we had to clean it ourselves, with the help of the generous people who worked there.

- Drove 17 miles to our new hotel in Fall River Mills in a driving rainstorm. The rain turned to snow close to the end of the trip, but it wasn't sticking. The guy who checked us in said, "The snow won't stick. Don't worry." Dropped our stuff off and headed back to Burney. Snow started sticking on the way.

- Had to eat dinner at McDonald's. The employees were having a snowball fight on the playground. When we came back to the car after eating (20 minutes) our entire car was covered with snow. Forced to clear off car with ice scraper.

- Did the evening show for 20 people. Were told by the organizer, "I'm a nurse at the hospital in Fall River Mills, and I'm supposed to go to work tonight, and I'm not going - it's too dangerous. And you're not either. We're putting you up in a motel."

- Went to Safeway to get supplies (contacts, food, alcohol) for our second evening in Burney. Paid $6.75 for a contact lens case.

- Went into crappy motel room, with our luggage 17 miles away. Raf and I split a six-pack and laughed about how our day couldn't get worse. Called the office back in the Sleepy Hamlet to get set up for today's performances and classes.

- Transformer blows in Burney just after midnight. Power and phone go out. Day just got worse.

- Wake up at 6:30am. Carefully drive to motel in Fall River Mills. Quickly shower, change, pack up car.

- Carefully drive to Fall River HS. Get out of car, notice that the parking lot is empty. A maintenance man yells out to us, "No school today!" The school contact tried to get in touch with us, but couldn't, because our motel phone had no power, and our cell phones got no signal.

- Looked for Raf's cell phone at both motels (finally found it in our car). Got the car stuck in the snow several times. Realize I don't have my cell phone charger.

- Drove to Redding. Finally, something good happened here. We checked into our hotel early, and we had lunch at In-N-Out Burger. Good times.

Now I'm tired, and I'm hoping that I have the most uneventful evening ever.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

On the road again

Day 1 of tour. My tour partner Raf and I are currently sitting in a postage-stamp-sized motel room in scenic Burney, CA. It's one of those places where, just to get into town, you have to drive for an hour on a two-lane road...and you don't see ANY lights. At one point both of us thought that we were driving to the end of the world. Raf's got a digital camera, so hopefully he'll take some pictures and maybe I'll post one or two, especially if we get a shot of something fun.

I'm getting hungry, but I'm a little afraid to venture out. The manager mentioned that she had some menus...maybe I'll see if I can find something safe. Or I could just roll to the Safeway across the street...

The end...and the beginning

So here it is. In about twelve hours I leave the Sleepy Hamlet for good. Five weeks on the road, and then I head back to my Big City.

It's kind of surreal. Tonight I met some friends at our local watering hole (across the street from work) and we just kind of chilled for a while. All of us are leaving town this week - some for a vacation or work; a couple of us aren't coming back. Most of us are going to meet up for a birthday in the Bay in a couple of weeks, so it wasn't a good-bye, which was good, because I don't know how I would have handled that. And I'm not an emotional guy at all.

I've had a real love/hate relationship with this town. There have been so many moments where I've literally wanted to bang my head against the wall because I'm so frustrated - too small, not enough to do, too many people all up in my business. But I've also had a lot of fun here the past three years, and I'll never be able to think of this place without those positive memories flooding back.

And I've really learned to appreciate the beauty of this place, especially in the past year. I remember walking to work and looking at the fog hovering over the mountains and just being in awe. I took walks up into the hills and looked at the big houses overlooking the valley, and I drove all over the area, and I explored the wonderful park that's here (built by the same guy who built Central Park). Perhaps I couldn't leave this place until I had fully embraced it.

So now I leave. This blog will have to change. It will continue, of course - it's part of me, just like this Sleepy Hamlet is - but the focus will have to shift. It will be about my excellent adventures on the road for the next five weeks, and then I guess it will focus on my triumphant return to New York. You can go home again, I guess. I'm gonna try. We'll see what happens. I hope you'll join me.

I'm exhausted from packing, and I've still got some stuff to do before I finally leave this apartment sometime t'm'row afternoon. But I just wanted to take this moment to say...

Ashland, OR...thanks for the memories. I'll see you around.

Friday, November 04, 2005


(It's still technically Friday, at least out here on the West Coast...)

The answer to the question I asked a couple of weeks ago is:

New York.

At least for two months, at which time I will return to the West Coast for a gig in Cowtown. So, December 10, I return to my roots. Good times.

The big announcement that I was alluding to earlier in the week is that I actually leave my Sleepy Hamlet on Sunday. Starting next week, this blog will be coming to you from various and sundry locations in different parts of the country, as I take Shakespeare to the masses. And you'll be with me every step of the way. Aren't you excited?

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Conversation from last night, in the parking lot of a discount store:

CRAZY LADY IN BLACK SCARF: (as she uncovers her face, which was completely covered by the scarf) They don't sell any of those diversity stickers anywhere in this town, do they?

ME: (disbelief) Um, no...

CRAZY LADY: (laughing) Well, just look at this town! Not much here, is there?

ME: (dumbfounded) Um...yeah...

Rather than comment on yet another white person making another totally unnecessary quip to me (not a racist comment, but still...come on!), I think I'll just dwell on the fact that I'm apparently like catnip to crazy people. They love talking to me. Doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing. If they're three fries short of a Happy Meal, they want to have a discussion with me.

I'll try to get the announcement up t'm'row before I leave for work...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's Over

The gang is splitting up. The Foursome is down to three - my friend Matt left today. We stood around outside a pizza place last night and stared at each other...nothing to say. How do you sum up three years in five minutes? It's impossible.

I hate good-byes, and it's even worse when you are saying it to a bunch of people. Every day someone else is taking off, and I have no idea when I will see them again. And the worst thing about it is that I know - we all know - that nothing will ever be the same again. We can write, call, visit, but we'll never be able to get back to that time where all of us lived within three blocks of each other. It's like leaving college, but worse.

I am really, really sad. I'm still excited for my future, and the opportunities ahead of me, but right now I just want my friends back.

Major announcement coming on Friday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Small town life is SO wonderful...

FYI, got that new drivers' license last week - scored 100% on the test. So now I feel like an official resident of my West Coast State. Which is great, seeing as how I'm only going to be a resident of said state for ten more days...

Still procrastinating on the packing. Time is quickly running out... I really should go to the gym, but I can't find the motivation to do that, either. What is wrong with me?

Had to deal with yet another dramatic situation last night. Sleepy Hamlet is such a small town, and there's a teeny-tiny social scene, so if you do anything questionable, everybody knows about it five minutes later. Anyway, one of my good friends is dating one of my best friends, and the good friend apparently went on a date with/made out with some chick at a bar a couple of nights ago.

So I convened with the other members of the Foursome (there's four of us who are supertight, including Best Friend - we all came to the Sleepy Hamlet together and three of us are moving away next week) and we decided that I had to tell Good Friend that if he didn't reveal his infidelity to Best Friend, I would. Not the most fun phone call of my life, let me tell you. Good Friend sent me a text message about 30 minutes ago, telling me that he told her, and that (politely) we should stay out of his business. My response to that would be, "If you didn't make out in bars with strange women, it would be a lot easier to do that."

I'm pretty sure I'm in the right here. There's a lot more to this situation, because of all the history, but it would take days to tell the whole backstory.. I'm just glad it's least, I hope it's over...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


My little brother proposed to his girlfriend last night! (She said yes.)

I'm very excited for them - they've been an item for almost five years, and she's basically part of the family already. It's just nice to know that the government will recognize her place, too.

He's almost three years younger than me, and in some ways I feel a little dysfunctional - isn't the older sibling supposed to settle down first? Not only am I not getting married anytime soon, but I'm not even sure I've met Ms. Right yet. Don't get me wrong - 95% of the time I'm completely ok with this fact. It comes with the lifestyle I've chosen, after all.

Anyway, props to the kids - very proud of you both. Looking forward to being in the wedding...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tales from the Safeway

This definitely qualifies as one of the super-fun adventures I'm supposed to be blogging about.

I'm at the grocery store the other night...picking up a couple of beers before heading over to console my friend who's had his heart broken. I'm standing in the booze aisle, where a young lady is looking over the selection. Very cute, blonde hair, on the short side, casual but stylish. She does the look-at-you-'til-you-look-over-at-me-then-I'll-turn-my-head thing. Looks back and smiles at me, I smile at her. She comes over to me.

"Excuse me, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure..." (of course I'm thinking she's going to ask me out or something)


(Stunned silence)


"Do you know where I could find watermelon?"

(Is this a joke? Is she joking right now? She did NOT just ask the black guy if he knew where the watermelons he's got that location memorized, along with all the fried chicken joints.)


"I just don't know where it could be..."

(I don't even LIKE watermelon! Did someone tell her to do this to black people? Is this some kind of sorority prank?)

(More silence)

(Less hypersensitive section of brain kicks in, focuses on cooler in front of face)

"Um, do you mean...watermelon-flavored ALCOHOL?"


(Oh dear God...I thought I was going to have to kill this woman...)

"Well, there's some watermelon Smirnoff right in front of us..."

"Oh, yeah...that's exactly what I wanted! Wow, thank you so much!"

(Still stunned)

"Um, no problem."

"Cool. Well, have a good night..."

"You too..."

I have to get out of this town.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Love & Licensing

Kind of fired up today. Two reasons:

1) A very long story, but I essentially am being forced to get a new drivers' license. My old state didn't send me the right kind of license, and can't send me the right type for two weeks. And the next phase of my job requires me to rent a car, which I can't do with an expired out-of-state license. So I'm feverishly cramming for the written exam, which is all this West Coast state requires me to take. But I've got to burn $60, on top of the $30 I already sent to my ex-state... You can probably feel my pain.

2) One of my friends had his girlfriend break up with him over the phone - she just moved to the Midwest a month ago. This girlfriend, who is also a friend of mine, has a habit of doing this - she moves to a new place, dumps her old boyfriend, and picks up a new one. We all thought that this relationship was different. Apparently not.

It just burns me up that someone can tell another person that they love them, and then chuck them aside as soon as they find something else they want to have sex with. Love is messy and hard and thrilling and exhausting, and it is never ever casual. I just don't get how some people can toss that word around. If I tell you I love you, it means something. I don't say it very often, and I don't say it to very many people, because it means something. I wish this woman had the same respect for it that I do. I hope she grows up.

Maybe people need to get a license to allow them to fall in love, or get married. You know, show some responsibility, know how to make a person feel important, learn how to kiss correctly (that's important). Demonstrate your capability.

Off to do more cramming...did you know that, if necessary, you may park a vehicle on the shoulder of a highway if passing traffic has enough room to get by and if your vehicle can be seen from 200 feet in each direction? Exciting stuff, no?

Monday, October 17, 2005

The end is nigh.

The lack of motivation continues.

Did a little sumptin'-sumptin' for my company's volunteers tonight - gave them a taste of the skillz. Always good to remember the little people...even if you're a little person yourself.

Three weeks left in the Sleepy Hamlet. Although I may make a return trip a week after I leave, for various and sundry reasons. I'm slowly getting to the point where I'm not going to be able to put off packing much longer...

No decision as of yet. Maybe you can help. The question:

New York or Los Angeles?


Thursday, October 13, 2005

sleepy puppy

Very tired today. Very little motivation to do anything. Which is bad, since I actually have to work around 5, and I need to be at my best then. I'm actually so tired that I feel like I'm hungover - and that's really hilarious, 'cause I haven't had a drink in days.

Friend drama is pretty much squashed. One friend was talking about her relationship, and dropped a bombshell that the rest of us weren't expecting, and another friend called her on it. Alcohol was involved, so everyone overreacted. So I spent Sunday night and Monday day trying to make sure that everyone was cool with everyone else. The way I see it, I've got three and a half weeks left with these people, and I don't want any of that time to be ruined by stupid fights over stupid things. "Now, you kids go play nice in the sandbox."

Still don't know where I'm going to be living come January 1. Of course, as a general rule (because of my job), I have no idea where I'm going to be in six months. I'm optimistic, however, that I'll be able to decide in ten days or so. Start the clock...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Late night post

Steelers won tonight - I'm excited. Not so thrilled about Big Ben's injury, though. More on that t'm'row.

I am the consummate peacemaker. I smooth over rough patches like concrete. I've been doing it all my life. Maybe I should be a diplomat or something. Maybe I'll tell more of that story t'm'row, too...

Four weeks left in the Sleepy Hamlet...good times.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Love & Hate

Still trying to figure out what this site should look like. Feel free to let me know of any great ideas you have here.

A story from earlier in the week - went to a wedding - perhaps two of the nicest people in the world got married. It was a great ceremony - touching and funny and loving - fit their personalities perfectly. One of those weddings which really makes you want to fall in love.

There was a big break between the ceremony and the reception (so that we could eat dinner on our own, which was kind of cool), so a few of my friends and I headed towards a bar to have a drink in the newlyweds' honor. On the way there we ran across another friend of ours on the sidewalk in front of the movie theater (which is on the main street "downtown"), pacing back and forth. It's a really long story, but basically he had some words with a guy inside the theater about a lady they both like, and my friend asked this guy to "step outside". And after a couple of minutes, the guy came tearing out of the movie theater, and he and my friend tussled for a while, and eventually we broke it up (with the help of an extremely brave older gent) and got everybody out of there before the cops showed up.

It was ironic - we come from a wedding, all about peace and love, and walk into a fight, which was all about hatred and passion. My Sleepy Hamlet never ceases to amaze.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I had an asthma attack yesterday. For those of you not lucky enough to have asthma, it basically feels like a giant animal is stepping on your chest. I always picture a huge horse.

Anyway, I thought for a minute there that I was going to pass out in front of 600 people. Managed to make it through and went to the doctor afterwards, where I was given a liberal dose of steroids and told that it was probably just a cold. Sure enough, I woke up this morning and the horse had moved to the inside of my face.

So I'm sick again. In order to make me feel a little bit better, my doctor gave me a teapot/watering can-looking thingy called a neti pot. You fill it with water and a dash of salt, insert it into one nostril, and let the mixture run in one nostril and out the other. It's a little bit weird at first, but it starts to feel good after a while. Geez, I'm learning all sorts of crunchy hippy-type things in my Sleepy Hamlet.

And, on the subject of finding a good purpose for this blog, I may have found one. I'm moving to a major city at the beginning of next year, but it may be a different one than I originally intended. So it could be about my super-fun adventures in a Big City. More on this situation as it develops...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

August Wilson 1945-2005

Greatest American playwright ever. All due respect to O'Neill and Williams, but August is #1 in my book. I got a chance to meet him a couple of years ago at a picnic, and he was such a generous man...took time out to talk to a young guy from his hometown. A true class act. He will be missed.

NY Times obit here
. Or go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for coverage.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Constant Gardener

Go see this movie. So powerful. After it was over, I just sat in my seat and watched the credits roll, a million thoughts running through my mind. Don't do too much research into it; just go see it. There will be plenty of time for research afterwards.

Happy 32nd anniversary to my parents!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I wanna be like Bill & Chuck

Even if you're not a sports fan, go check out this conversation at's Page 2. Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Guy) and Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs) exchanged e-mails for several days, and they cover a huge range of topics. The one to watch for in this segment covers the first third of the article, involving New Media, the value of pop culture, and the blog revolution. But the whole series is worth checking out.

I kind of aspire to be a hybrid of both of those guys. They manage to write like regular people, but they always have hysterical and/or intelligent insights into the little things of life that we all enjoy. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs is one of the coolest books I've ever read...Klosterman is able to find meaning in The Real World, for Pete's sake. And it actually makes sense. And Bill Simmons makes me feel normal for being obsessed with sports, in part because there's about a million people out there who read him and feel the same way.

I suppose it's all about finding your voice. I'm able to express myself through my job (I'm an actor, so I tell stories for a living), but I've always been fascinated with the written word. So that's why I blog, I guess.

Thoughts? Tell me what you think of the Simmons/Klosterman conversation...

Monday, September 26, 2005

cranky connection

An on-location blog from my sleepy hamlet's wireless internet! I wish I lived next door - then I wouldn't have to pay for access at all. My internet connection is on the fritz again...I've had so many computer difficulties living in that apartment. Another reason that I'm glad to move.

My beloved Steelers lost yesterday. I'll spare you all of my analysis of the game; I will say, however, that I wasn't as torn up as I normally am after a loss. That was probably because (a) they lost to the world champs, or (b) I got a free drink from the pretty bartender, or (c) I watched the game with a pretty girl. I actually can't decide.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

happy birthday to me

It's my birthday. It's the first birthday in a while where I've been by myself (translation: without a girlfriend) and it's a bit strange, I must admit. Still, I've got a fun series of events lined up - BBQ for lunch, dinner with friends, drinks with the entire world at night. I had a party a couple of weeks ago, so technically I'm double dipping, but it's all good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

comings & goings

Going through a reshuffling period. Old relationships are exploding and/or disintegrating, and instead I seem to be meeting extremely wonderful people who I only get to spend a few days with.

I worry more about the old relationships. I readily admit that I like to be liked, and as a result of that it's always really difficult for me to completely sever ties with a person. It's hard even when I want to get rid of somebody. But I totally understand that you gotta do it sometimes, especially when you've been romantic with a person.

Meeting new people is really exciting, but I always kind of hate it when you have great conversation for four hours and then you leave, not knowing if you'll ever see that person again. One of my best friends told me that you should just be grateful for the experience, and be excited that you may randomly bump into one of these people again. I guess I'm a pack rat: if I like you, I want to keep you around forever. Is that weird? I don't think it is...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No Time

A couple of days ago, I came to the realization that I needed to schedule trips to the gym, because otherwise I was never going to get there, and I would lose all of the buffness that I worked so hard during the first part of the year to acquire. Sounds like a good plan, right?

But now I'm looking at my schedule, and I realize what the real reason is - I have no free time. With work and outside projects and saying good-bye to people and more work and birthday parties and's crazy. And when I am free - usually weekend nights - the gym is closed. Go figure. I can't wait until I return to New York City, where half of the gyms are open 24 hours.

I just want three 2-hour blocks a week. That's all I'm asking for. And some apple pie. And a pony.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Leavin' on a midnight train

Let me clarify the reason why I referred y'all to this article in my last post. As a black man, I'm excited to see black celebrities come together and do something positive. Too many times rappers and actors and athletes stay on the sidelines...they've kind of taken Michael Jordan's famous statement - "Republicans buy sneakers, too" - to another level. So read the article, if you haven't already.

It's starting to hit me that I'm moving in eight weeks. It's the beginning of the end...some of my friends are leaving on Tuesday. I don't get down very often, but I'm going to be kind of sad when they take off. Not as sad as some significant others will be (because their ladies are leaving them behind), but sad enough.

The business I'm in involves lots of travel - I essentially lead a nomadic lifestyle. And while I love some aspects of it, I hate having to say good-bye to people every few months. That's probably the major thing I would change.

Oh yeah...I'd also up my salary by a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Overcoming together...

This encourages me. Glad to see my people coming together.


Birthday party on should come. It'll be fun, honest. I think the hot tub may be going, too. If you guys are good, maybe I'll post the exciting goings-on - who made out with whom, who wore underwear on their head, who got completely sloshed... Oh, the good times we will have.

The NFL season officially gets underway tonight. I've been a huge football fan since I was a wee lad, so I'm pretty fired up. When I was a kid, I used to refuse to answer phone calls when the Steelers were playing. I've gotten a bit more mature in my old I just limit the phone calls to five minutes. (Of course, now that I've got DVR, I don't have to worry about that anymore...hmmmm...)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


We're past Labor Day, kids, so you know what that's back in session. New hip-hop class posted later today or t'm'row, depending on how busy my evening becomes.

While I'm on the subject of hip-hop, there was a big article about Kanye West in last week's TIME (who has been in the news recently, in case you haven't noticed) that was essentially trumpeting him as a hip-hop revolutionary. As much as I like Kanye, he's basically just done two things:

(1) Gone back to the formula used by early '90s groups like Tribe; and

(2) Sprinkled in a healthy sense of humor, much like Eminem.

There's the secret, folks.

And, by the by, without commenting on what he actually said, don't you think it looked like he was completely freaked out on that telethon? Ultra nervous, stammering... It was almost like a comedy routine. And the look on Mike Myers's face...priceless.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

Personally, I think it's nice that we celebrate the hard work we do all year long by not working.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Please help.

Donate to the Red Cross. Since our government appears to be completely and hopelessly inept, it's even more important that every individual helps. Give up drinking beer for a couple of nights, or eating out this week. Every bit helps - even $5.

And if, after reading this, you're not convinced, turn on your TV and just watch some of the coverage on CNN, or ABC. Read the coverage in the New York Times, or from the AP. Then re-read the first paragraph.

One more this editorial from yesterday's Times (free registration required). The press is coming out swinging.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More Ramblings!

So I'm a contributor to a cool new blog called Infinite Monkeys. We're calling it a "multiplayer notepad". There are several other bloggers, and I'll link them eventually, but you should definitely check out the site here. I'll try to post something there a couple of times a week, but my trials and tribulations will still be posted here on a semi-regular basis. Look for an extremely corny joke I contributed.

I've added a few new links in my "blog" section - if you've got some time to burn, you might consider checking them out. Good people, and all very entertaining...

Got a job for November/December. I was expecting to get it, but it's always nice to get the official word. More details on that in the next few days.

Listening to the new Kanye West far, so good. It's very different than the first one, but I think that's a good thing. There's a huge article on him in last week's TIME, as well as a huge flow chart on hip-hop. I'm making my students read it.

And speaking of hip-hop, my hip-hop school will resume next week. The guys are excited. I think we're up to part II of the late '90s. I'll post it soon...

Monday, August 29, 2005

the verdict is in...

The 40 Year Old Virgin is fan-frickin'-tastic. I laughed, I cried, I ate copious amounts of popcorn. It's really funny. One of my friends said it's a "sophisticated stupid movie", and I might agree with that statement. Anyway, go see it and let me know what you think.

I have now gotten drunk four nights in a row. It always starts innocently enough: "Let's just get a quick drink." "Wow, that was a tough rehearsal - I need to have a beer and unwind before going to bed." "Left my card at the bar last night - I should really go get it." "Hey, it's Sunday night. We always go out on Sunday night."

Did meet a dance troupe last night from upstate New York - I believe they do Afro-Carribean dance. It's so nice to see people of color out here. We partied until the wee hours of the morning, and I tried to convince them that they should stay here with me instead of flying back east, but apparently I wasn't persuasive enough.

It's time to make my triumphant return to the gym...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

i love that new car smell

Went car shopping with my friend Sarah today - we posed as boyfriend and girlfriend so that the pushy used car salesmen wouldn't push her around. And it was pretty successful - only one really tried to put on the full court press. We're gonna whup his ass on Saturday when we go get that car.

Off to see The 40 Year Old Virgin. I'll let you know what I think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

traveling & posing

I got a job. Exciting, no? One of my friends is doing the coolest thing. She got a job for six or eight months, and she's posting her experience here. Maybe I'll do that.

So anyway, now I go from Sleepy Hamlet to New York City in December to Cowtown in March. (I don't like posting where I actually am because the hamlet is WAY too small...that's also, by the way, why you're not getting any salacious details about my dating life, either.)

I'm exhausted - I spent my weekend doing a big AIDS benefit. One of the things I did to raise money was...and, even as I type this, I still can't believe I did this...pose for a calendar. Except that the calendar never got off the ground, so we ended up just selling the pictures. The group shots are pretty cool, and I actually kind of like the way I look in my individual one. I'm not naked or anything, but I'm not sure if I want to show the pictures to my mother. So I was kind of embarassed showing off that much flesh, but I believe that I need to do whatever I can to stop the spread of this disease. It's killed too many people and ruined too many lives for me to be worried about modesty.

Off to forage for food in the wilds of my refridgerator...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Empty nest syndrome

My houseguests left today. I had a dear dear friend visiting me for 2 1/2 weeks (hence why I haven't been posting all that much), and it was great. Usually I'm ready for people to leave, but part of me wishes she had stayed longer. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age.

Anyway, it's simultaneously lonely and nice to have the apartment to myself. I can watch football or eat anything I want and I don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks. But it was nice having someone to talk to, and it was really nice having someone to come home to.

Have I mentioned how much I love my iPod? Added a bunch of new songs yesterday. It makes the walk to work like Christmas.

Friday, August 12, 2005

random post

Kind of watching "The Life Aquatic..." right seems like a weird movie. Think I'm going to need a really good reason to watch it all the way through from the beginning. And I normally like Wes Anderson's stuff.

It's starting to feel like late summer out here...remember those last days of vacation, trying to squeeze in as much playtime as you could before you had to go back to school? I'm actually working on a play right now that takes place on the last day of summer vacation. Maybe that's why I'm super sensitive to the time of year.

Not much else to report. More on Monday...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hustle & Flow

See this now. Saw this movie on Monday while I was in The Big City - excellent. My friend and I ran out and bought the soundtrack immediately. Terrance Howard has been around for a long time, and it's nice to see him get a role that he can knock out of the park.

I must admit, however, that it may not be a movie for everyone. It's really hard to explain this movie if you haven't seen it, but you are basically watching a pimp at work. And when he raps, he raps about his life - two of his songs are called "Whoop That Trick" and "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp". Yes, they are a bit degrading, but, if you see the movie, you'll understand why they're the new hotness.

Friday, July 29, 2005

you are looking LIVE...

This is a blog on location today, comin' atcha live from my friend's house. Aren't you excited?

I'm at my friend's house because I'm doing laundry for free. I hate doing laundry. The only perk to doing it is that my friend has a powerful air conditioning unit (which my slovenly hovel lacks). So I can beat the ridiculously hot temperatures AND be productive at the same time. It's official: I am the smartest man alive.

Driving several hours to the The Big City on Monday to pick up a different friend at the airport. I think the first thing I'm going to do is get some Krispy Kreme donuts. I miss those a lot. I also miss nightlife and culture and pro sports teams, but that's a different list for a different day.

Have a good weekend...happy August...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

First, I vent; then, I post

Do you know what I hate most in the world? Being left in the dark. I'm a pretty flexible person, and I can adapt to almost any situation - as long as I know what's going on. If you don't want (or want) me to do something, just tell me! I'm a big boy - I'll get over it. DON'T avoid me/the topic/the situation. That just pisses me off.

There. That felt a bit better.

Have to go get fitted for an elbow brace...had an incident about a month ago at work where I fell and kind of tweaked the left one. I had been switching one brace between arms. Note to all: that usually makes for a brace that doesn't fit either arm well at all.

Hip hop class resumes on Saturday - try not to get too excited.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


It's always exciting when you see someone you know on TV. Last night I was watching "MTV's The 70's House" and was pleasantly surprised to see a friend from undergrad playing Slim the Disco-Dancing CarWash Guy. Of course, now that he's been on an MTV reality show, I think he's eligible to do a Real World/Road Rules Challenge. That would be awesome.

Maybe one day I could be on TV. Don't you think I would make a great criminal on Law & Order?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


A hot, sticky summer night. Life without air conditioning sucks. Anybody want to take up a collection for me?

Waiting for everybody I know to finish work so that I can go out and have some fun. Never mind the fact that I don't have any money...sometimes you just need to cut loose, you know? I know you know what I'm talking about. That's why I can tell you everything. ;-) Except about that one time, with that one girl...that's off limits.

I've also got almost three days off of work in a row, which is virtually unheard of. This means that I"m on my computer WAY too much. Any fun websites that I should check out would be greatly appreciated...

Monday, July 18, 2005

The dishes are done, man...

Just found out that my contract at work is not getting renewed. Good times.

This means I get to go back to New York. Wait...that actually IS good times...!!!

Friday, July 08, 2005


Just downloaded Mozilla Firefox, and it's the winner. I'm not one of those people who's perpetually down on Corporate America, but I must admit that I'm tired of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser and all of its' glitches.

So...come get foxy with me.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8

In case you've been living under a rock, the Live 8 concert is going on today in several cities around the world. It's a massive undertaking, and they've been able to mobilize millions of people to fight hunger in Africa. Go to and sign a petition to convince the leaders of the G8 to do their part.

I don't get on my soapbox much, but I'm standing tall now. So do it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Summer has finally arrived, and for that I say Amen. In my part of the country, it usually gets warm around late April/early May, but prior to today, I believe it was warm enough for me to wear shorts three or four times. That's just ridiculous. It better stay nice through mid-October to make up for the general crappiness of our spring. Bad times.

I've reached the part of the year where I only work about 20-25 hours a week. It's great to have so much free time, as long as I have something to do with it. I'm directing some 10 minute play readings next weekend, and then I'm going to produce a big short play festival, hopefully sometime in September. Hopefully these things will keep me out of mischief. Of course, if you're reading this, you probably want crazy stories. I'll see if I can oblige...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

holding pattern

Just watched Elf...amazing how I can think a movie is stupid and hilarious at the same time. I think that I would have slapped Buddy the Elf silly several times. Why he's able to score a hot babe is beyond me, and why we all believe it lies further away than that.

Sitting in my apartment on a Sunday night, waiting for my peeps to get done with work so that I can go out (Monday is our day off). I'm in one of those spots where I've drank beer three or four nights in a row, and the last couple of days I've said to myself, "No beer tonight. Just have juice, or, if you want something alcoholic, have something like scotch." And every night I end up drinking a couple of beers. Must...stop...the...madness...

Off to the have a couple of beers.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

My computer is back...

...and so am I.

When you're totally addicted to the internet and e-mail, it's pretty traumatic to lose your lifeline for six weeks. But my computer was pretty sick...dozens and dozens of viruses. Apparently the anti-virus software/firewall I received from the cable company was worthless. So for two years my computer has been a haven to hackers everywhere.

Lots of great stories to tell; the most interesting one is that I may soon change my location from "West Coast" to "East Coast". But more on that one later...

Thursday, June 02, 2005


I have a nasty throat infection, which has made it pretty damn difficult to talk. In fact, I'm actually in the middle of two days of "complete vocal rest". I never thought I was a chatterbox, but after these last couple of days I may have to re-evaluate that position. It's really frustrating not to be able to say what's on your mind. At least I have this blog...oh wait...I still don't have my computer...crap. At least I have my health...oh wait...

This sucks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Computer Issues

Sorry for my lack of laptop is on the fritz. And until I get it fixed/returned to me, I can't do any more hip-hop classes, or tell you stories about my super-fun adventures in sub-Urbia. Hopefully by the end of the week things will be up and running again. See you soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

my perfect woman

I like girls that are a little bit uncool. To the rest of the world, they seem suave, sophisticated, they've got their shit together. But, behind closed doors, I want a woman who is not afraid to let her inner geek show. I tend to have my best relationships with these women.

And, since I know you're going to ask this, I am not dorky at all. I'm as cool as the other side of the pillow at all times.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy Orgasm Day!

Geez, some towns will do anything to get on the map. Still, if they're celebrating a holiday as important as this one somewhere in the world, we should do our part. Make sure that you have an appropriate celebration for this one...I'm sure you can figure something out.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Hip Hop school IV

You're probably wondering where class #3 is...basically, it's taken me forever to get the music for it, and I was checking out all of these obscure underground West Coast eventually I decided that I needed to get this party started again. Anyway, I'll post #3 at the end of this week/beginning of next week.

This class focuses on 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. - they're the two titans in rap history, and they deserved their own CD. You could actually do a class on just 2Pac alone - it was hard for me to include just nine songs of his. Biggie only had two albums released when he was alive, so of course there are less songs of his, but I was able to include some classic tracks.

Here's the list:

2Pac - Brenda's Got A Baby - the serious side
Notorious B.I.G. - Who Shot Ya?
2Pac f/Shock G & Money B - I Get Around - everyone forgets he was with Digital Underground
Notorious B.I.G. - Big Poppa - "A t-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch's Grape"
2Pac - Me Against The World
Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy - his best song ever, IMHO
2Pac f/Dr. Dre - California Love - everyone knows where they were when this song was hot - and we were all like, "Wait, isn't 'Pac from the East Coast?"
Notorious B.I.G. - One More Chance
2Pac f/Danny Boy - I Ain't Mad At Cha
Notorious B.I.G. - B.I.G. Interlude - he explains his name in 45 seconds...excellent
2Pac f?Outlawz - Hit Em Up - here's where the East Coast/West Coast thing went nuclear...that tends to happen when you claim you slept with someone's wife on record
Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
2Pac - Toss It Up
Notorious B.I.G. - Niggas Bleed - VIBE magazine published an analysis of this song about 7 or 8 years ago, and it's amazing how much stuff is crammed into this song...if anyone out there has a copy of that article, let me know
2Pac - To Live & Die In L.A.
Notorious B.I.G. f/Mase & Puff Daddy - Mo Money Mo Problems
2Pac - Do For Love - my favorite posthumous track of his...there are a lot to choose from
Notorious B.I.G f/Eminem - Dead Wrong - his other posthumous track is probably better, but this has a wicked beat

So who was better, 2Pac or Biggie? And yes, there is a right answer to the question...

Thursday, April 28, 2005


This is how tired I've been lately: this morning, after waking up and dragging myself out of bed after 9 1/2 hours sleep, I poured orange juice into my cereal. Pathetic.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

my project

A crazy week. Work is nuts, ladies coming and going, Cristal flowing...y'all know how it is.

My extra-curricular project is taking up every waking moment...I'm having a great time doing it, but I'll be extremely happy when 7pm Monday rolls around, because it means I can just go back to normal. Oh, my bad, have I not mentioned what exactly my project is? ;-)

I'm directing a VERY staged reading of Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things. I haven't directed anything in a long time, so it's been kind of an interesting process. But I'm working with talented and creative people, so that makes things a lot easier. It's amazing, though, how many little details have to be taken care of, and if I don't do it, no one will.

Off to do more work. More regular posts starting Tuesday, including the return of Hip Hop 101...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

"who am i, and what am i doing here?"

Anyone know who said that?

My project goes up in a week, and I'm getting nervous. There's just too much stuff to get done, and no time to do it! I always pride myself on being organized, but right now I feel totally scatterbrained, and that never happens to me. Oy vey.

In a bit of a funk - part of it has to do with getting very little sleep the night before last because I woke up at 5:30 to take my friend to the airport, and part of it has to do with a situation that I'm not quite comfortable putting on the internet at this point in time. I've got to do a little fact-finding before I start telling the story to the masses...hate to put something out there and then have to go back and apologize. I don't like apologizing.

Hip hop class #3 will be coming up in the next couple of days. I got slammed this week so I told the boys to consider this their spring break. My friend Matt, who serves as the class TA, suggested that, for their final, Juan and Rafael should have a battle. I think that would be awesome. Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Had one of those days where I totally felt like my foot was always in my mouth. Even managed to air my boss's opinion to about 80 people, and I'm not sure that she actually wanted that opinion aired. I did manage to leave a semi-graceful apology on her answering machine.

It just goes to show that if I take even 10 seconds to compose my thoughts, I can sound measured and mature and intelligent. But if I try to speak off the cuff, I can get myself into big trouble, and I sound like a moron. Ick, ick, ick.

I need a vacation.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I thought that my allergies were kicking up...but after five days, you've just got to suck it up and admit the truth. I'm sick. It's a cold. There - I did it.

I always get melancholy when I get sick - feeling bad for myself, remembering days gone by, that kind of stuff. I guess it's natural to feel bad mentally then, since you feel bad physically. Does this happen to anybody else, or just me.

Soup's on - lentil - mmmmm.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Allergies suck.

My nose is running like a faucet, and my sinuses are all messed up. I hate it...

I'm a pretty independent guy, but when I don't feel well, I can become a big baby. And sick time, for me, is the only time that I really get melancholy for the days of yore. You know, old relationships, good times with old friends I don't see anymore, that kind of thing.

Time to pick myself up and make some dinner - I have to go back to work in a couple of hours.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hip-hop school part deux

The second lesson for Juan and's pretty funny - they actually ask questions, and we talk about the social meaning of hip-hop. Juan thinks I'll be teaching this at a university in five years. Maybe we should finish the whole thing first...see if it actually is successful or if it just flames out.

Here's the second lesson - the theme is early 90's, mostly from the East Coast. I had forgotten one very important group from the 80's (it was included in my original list but somehow didn't find its' way onto the CD), which is why they are track #1:

Public Enemy - Fight The Power
A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime
LL Cool J - The Boomin System
Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony - 1st Of Oha Month
Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M
Craig Mack - Flava In Ya Ear (Remix) - there's a bunch of guest stars on here, including LL and Biggie
Onyx - Slam
LL Cool J - Around The Way Girl
OutKast - Player's Ball
A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour
Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony - Tha Crossroads
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out - one of the hardest rap songs ever, and I will not debate this point
Arrested Development - Tennessee
Method Man - I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By - w/Mary J. Blige
A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario - more guest stars, including Busta Rhymes' breakout performace
OutKast - Hootie Hoo

I really wanted to put De La Soul's "Me Myself And I" on here, but for some reason iTunes doesn't have it. I would have also like to put more of the Native Tongues clique, or D-Nice (my personal fav), but I didn't.
Next up is early 90's West Coast. I'm looking primarily at the NWA family tree, and my friend's brother is forcing me to put E-40 on there...any other suggestions?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Sunday musings

Happy Easter.

I've got a sinus headache the size of Alaska. It makes everything hurt. I hate allergy season. On top of that, I ate a little too much of this concentrated BBQ sauce the other night and now my mouth hurts everywhere. I'd really like to chop off the top of my head and order a new one...maybe on eBay?

Read this article. I'm not normally a fan of the NY tabloids (I was more of a Times guy when I was there) but this is a very level-headed column about rap from the Daily News, and you don't see those too often these days. Hip-hop School Lesson #2 coming t'm'row...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hip-hop school

My first lesson for the guys included these songs:

Run-DMC - My Adidas
Salt-n-Pepa - Push It
LL Cool J - I Need Love
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two
Slick Rick - Children's Story
LL Cool J - Rock The Bells
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Parents Just Don't Understand
Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat The Technique
LL Cool J - Going Back To Cali
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime

This is skewed towards my tastes, the things I listened to as a child, and since I spent some time as a kid in New York, and seeing as how most of my extended family is from New York, obviously I lean towards East Coast hip-hop. I tried to stay "mainstream" with the artists; as much as I love D-Nice, I don't think most people know his stuff. There were a couple of other tracks that I really wanted to put on here - notably the Sugar Hill Gang and Melly Mel - but I couldn't find their tracks on iTunes, and I don't have the CDs, and I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars buying music so my friends can be enlightened. But if you want to send me the tracks, feel free.

This is just the basics for the 80's. This week we're jumping into the 90's, which I've divided into four sections: early East Coast (to '95), early West Coast (to '95), the Biggie/2Pac era, and the late 90's (the bling bling phase).

Let me know if you think I made any serious omissions...